By Dave Karger
Updated January 06, 2011 at 09:49 PM EST

Image Credit: Merrick Morton; Laurie Sparham; Melissa MoseleyThe guild award nominations are now coming fast and furious. But how will this year’s top awards candidates fare overall when the Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 25? Last year no movie earned more than nine nominations; that’s because the top two contenders, The Hurt Locker and Avatar, only had one acting nod between them. But by my guesses, three films — The Social Network, The King’s Speech, and Inception — could feasibly score a nomination count in the double digits. Here’s how I see things shaking out:

The Social Network: 11 nominations (picture, director, adapted screenplay, actor, supporting actor, art direction, cinematography, editing, score, sound mixing, sound editing)

The King’s Speech: 11 nominations (picture, director, original screenplay, actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, art direction, cinematography, costume design, editing, score)

Inception: 10 nominations (picture, director, original screenplay, art direction, cinematography, editing, score, sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects)

By the way, I have True Grit close behind with nine nominations: picture, director, adapted screenplay, art direction, cinematography, two acting nods, and two sound nods. If it manages to snag a nomination for its costumes as well, it could also break out of the single digits. (The Fighter and Black Swan, meanwhile, could top out around eight nominations.) Whatever the case, I have a feeling that people could start looking at this year’s race a little differently (i.e., as an actual race) once the nominations are announced.

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  • Movie
  • 148 minutes
  • Christopher Nolan